Written by William Lee
New York was completely overwhelmed by the return of Russell Westbrook to Oklahoma City.
Westbrook first feed his teammates, assisting on the first three made field goals for the Thunders, and then eventually got himself involved with a vicious baseline dunk to give Oklahoma City a 8-5 lead. The dunk was only the start to what ignited a 15-0 run, where the run was bookended by a Westbrook three-pointer that gave the Thunder a 21-5 lead with under five minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Westbrook received a standing ovation when he was substituted out of the game, finishing the first quarter with 14 points, which was more than New York scored as a whole… New York shot a dismal 18.2% from the field, converting on only four field goals.
Even with Westbrook on the bench to start the second quarter, New York could not capitalize…instead Jeremy Lamb went to work on the Knicks. Lamb was personally responsible for a 10-0 to start the second quarter. Lamb scored eight of his 13 points in the run while also handing out an assist to Kendrick Perkins. The deficit for New York grew up to 40-13, where finally with Cole Aldrich’s hustle plays helped give a lifeless Knicks team an 8-0 run.
Westbrook completely put a halt to any chance of a New York comeback, immediately going on an 11-2, getting into the paint for a layup, as well as orchestrating the offense, dishing out three assist to get the largest lead in the first half, 28 points with score 51-23 with a little over three minutes remaining in the first half.
The third quarter was more of the same, as it continued to be the Russell Westbrook show. Westbrook scored 12 more points before finally taking a seat late in the third quarter to another Chesapeake Energy Arena standing ovation. Westbrook in his first game back from injury finished the game with 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assist.
With the game being a blowout J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. took it as a license to do whatever they wanted on offense, chucking to their heart’s content, combining for 5/23 from the field. J.R Smith and Jose Calderon both had a -27 +/-, Calderon of course was the walking corpse guarding Westbrook to start the game. New York shot sub 40% from the field, losing another game without star player Carmelo Anthony for the second straight game, losing wire to wire 105-78 Friday night.